Podium reporter Stuart Appleby interviews inspirational record-breaking yachtsman Geoff Holt MBE.
Geoff Holt MBE is an inspirational record-breaking yachtsman
Paralysed from the chest down after a swimming accident at the age of 18, Holt has faced adversity, achieved challenging goals and positively confronted whatever obstacles lie in front of him. In 2007, he sailed 1,445 miles, solo, around Great Britain in a 15ft dinghy to become the first quadriplegic sailor to do so, and if that was not enough, another world record followed in 2010, when he completed his ‘Personal Atlantic’ challenge sailing 2,700 miles in the 60ft purpose-built catamaran Impossible Dream.
As well as being a multi-skilled yachtsman, Holt is also a Disability Sport Ambassador, where he helps to create opportunities for others. He also represents sailing on the British Paralympic Association: National Paralympic Committee and Holt encourages everyone to make the most of the opportunity and get involved at the London 2012 Games.
“The Games are not just about competing, but more about engaging in sport at some level. It is a good thing to get involved and the benefits you can get from sport are huge. Every sport needs volunteers and people to underpin the activities, otherwise events like the London Games could not happen.
“There are a lot of opportunities for young people at university to move into careers in sports psychology and physiology and they are very important to every athlete. If someone can do their bit to help an elite performer towards a gold medal then it should be encouraged,” said the 2010 YJA Yachtsman of the Year.
Holt, who is also a Podium Games Expert, was talking to Stuart Appleby (pictured) ahead of his University of Winchester Enterprise Lecture entitled ‘No Excuses – a voyage around Britain and through life’, in which Holt shares the story of his life with humour and thoughtful insight, accompanied by images and footage.
“To be engaged with the university and to see the creativity that is going on here is fantastic. I am absolutely thrilled I can be part of it.”
You can watch the full video interview with Holt below, where he also discusses his connection with the University of Winchester and the challenges he has faced on his sailing expeditions.